DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT NATIONAL ACTION PLAN (2006 - 2016)
The Republic Island of Vanuatu is located in one of the highest disaster-prone areas in the world. In recent years our people have been exposed to cyclones, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods and droughts. Since independence over a quarter of a century ago, our vulnerabilities to disasters have increased not only due to our changing lifestyles but also because we have lost some of our traditional methods for minimising risk and coping strategies in times of disasters. Our people are also becoming more reliant on disaster relief assistance rather than taking preventative, mitigation and adaptive steps to reduce risks, whilst building our self reliance and increasing resilience to disasters.
As the Prime Minister of the Republic, I clearly see that there is a need for a political will to bring about a change in the way we deal with disaster risks and to strengthen our community’s resilience through a more holistic approach to disaster risk reduction and disaster management.
Disaster is a development issue. So there must be a political will to ensure disaster risk considerations are fully integrated into all our policies, plans, budgets, and decision-making processes at all levels of government and communities and Vanuatu has shown that will and commitment through this process. The Hyogo Framework for Action: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Regional Framework for Action, 2005-2015 provide guiding principles for developing a holistic, whole-of-country approach to disaster risk reduction and disaster management.
The Vanuatu Government has made a commitment under the Pacific Plan to operationalise the Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Regional Framework for Action, 2005-2015, which we endorsed together with our fellow Leaders from the region in Madang, in 2005.
To put effect to this commitment, we need a firm political and financial commitment to see that disaster risk reduction and disaster management is mainstreamed into our national policies, plans, budgetary provisions and decision making across all sectors and all levels of government, and communities and that disaster risk management is the responsibility of the whole country and is everyone’s business.
We can no longer just sit and wait for disasters to happen. We must take actions to minimise our risks. At the same time we can also better prepare for and more effectively respond because we will never be able to eliminate all disasters.
We realise that in this effort to build a safe, secure and resilient Vanuatu, our national resources are limited and thus we need the support of our friends and support from the whole international community. We also need long-term commitment and support from our regional organisations and development partners.
My Government is pleased to acknowledge the assistance provided by the Pacific Disaster Risk Management Partnership (SOPAC/PIFS/World Bank/UNDP), and coordinated by SOPAC, to develop the National Action Plan for Vanuatu. This task was carried out in collaboration with our National Task Force, coordinated by the National Disaster Management Office. I would like to commend the dedication of the National Task Force and the high level of support provided by the Pacific Disaster Risk Management Partnership Network for this process in Vanuatu.
This National Action Plan, which is linked to a new supplementary Priorities and Action Agenda, provides a prioritised programme of action that the Vanuatu Government will implement over the next decade. The National Action Plan provides a range of actions requiring commitment and a coordinated joint effort within government, and with the private sector and civil society.
Vanuatu DRR&DM National Action Plan 2006 – 2016
I am proud to note that Vanuatu is the first country to systematically operationalise the global Hyogo Framework [for] Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Regional Framework for Action, 2005-2015. Our National Action Plan on Disaster Risk Reduction & Disaster Management 2006-2016, reflecting the core principles reflected in these frameworks becomes an example for others.
I personally pledge my support and that of my Government to ensure we maintain the momentum that has already been generated over these few short weeks. We must therefore act quickly to lay down the policy framework and organisational foundation for mainstreaming DRR and DM.
The ownership of the process and the responsibility for the success of our endeavors must remain with us. However, there is too much at stake for us to even entertain any thought of failure. With all your continued support and assistance together we will create a safe, secure and resilient Vanuatu.
Hon. Ham LINI VANUAROROA
Republic of Vanuatu